And I can not lie . . . oh come on, we were all thinking it. How many (old)* folks waiting for the light to change at Fountain and Francis Streets haven’t broken into song? Just me? Okay then, all the sophisticated art afficionados might be interested in the message the artist is actually trying to convey.
Artist Tao LaBossiere intends to stimulate viewers to consider the serious subject matter and our relationships with self-destructive habits. Tao created this cigarette butt sculpture from repurposed 55-gallon steel oil drums. This medium addresses another addiction of our society, the unsustainable and unhealthy use of oil for energy and plastic products. These addictions are accepted, pervasive cultural problems that destroy human health and our environment.
This steel and fiberglass sculpture comes courtesy of The Avenue Concept (TAC) public art program, and there’s more going on in Tao’s ‘Breaking Bad Habits’ than can be observed in daylight.
Ironically, as an added element of this repurposed oil drum, a solar panel on the top collects sustainable energy from the sun. It charges a battery that powers a set of low voltage LED motion-activated security lights. Beginning around dusk, the motion of an approaching individual will activate the lights, which light the interior of the sculpture illuminating the translucent fiberglass’ cigarette ash’ with orange and red, giving it the appearance of hot glowing embers.
So I returned last night at 8:55pm to check it out. Alas, nothing was lighting up or glowing for me. Maybe I don’t have enough mass to register on the sensors (insert big butt joke here). The day had been sunny enough.
Check out The Avenue Concept Programs and learn about all the murals and sculptures you’ve been seeing around town. Some of these pieces are for sale; many of these artists will be glad to discuss special commissions. For ten years, TAC has been “creating public art encounters by incorporating art more thoroughly into the urban environment and providing opportunities to engage and interact with it.”
*Oh my god, that song came out 30 years ago!
Breaking Bad Habits, Francis Street at Exchange Terrace, (directions)